Laxer can’t recall such a late change in campaign strategy

Turning around the contentious issue of funding for faith-based schools at this stage in the election is "an extremely difficult thing for a political leader to do with nine days left in a campaign," said political science Professor James Laxer, from York’s Atkinson School of Social Sciences, reported Canadian Press Oct. 1. "It seems to be kind of running under fire; that you’re caving in to public opinion polls and the attacks of your opponents," Laxer said. "There’s no question about it: it makes him seem to be a wavering leader under pressure, and people aren’t going to be impressed by that." Laxer said he can’t recall a provincial or federal campaign where a party leader has "done this kind of major shift" this close to the vote. "This deep-sixes the idea of public funding for faith-based schools," Laxer said.

  • Robert Drummond, political science professor and dean of York’s Faculty of Arts, also spoke about Tory’s announcement on funding for faith-based schools, on CBC Radio Oct. 1.
  • Greg Albo, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about Tory’s controversial proposal on OMNI-TV’s South Asian edition, Oct. 1.

Voters don’t know what MMP might mean, says Drummond

Ontarians vote on a proposal for proportional in an Oct. 10 referendum that coincides with a provincial election, wrote Reuters News Agency Oct. 2. It is not clear either who will win the election, or whether the referendum will pass. "I don’t think people have quite got their heads around what this might mean yet,” said Robert Drummond, professor of political science and dean of York University’s Faculty of Arts, "so, my guess is that if you don’t know much about it, you’re likely to vote against it."

Supreme Court guilty of creating chaos, conference told

The Supreme Court of Canada has created a chaotic legal situation by giving police the right to briefly detain and question civilians based on mere suspicion, a weekend conference on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was told, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 2. "Lost in all this are the thousands of innocent people who get stopped," added James Stribopoulos, a law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. In a paper he distributed to the conference, Stribopoulos also noted that: "There is a very real risk that some such detentions may be motivated – either consciously or, much more likely, subconsciously – by nefarious considerations, such as an individual’s age, economic circumstances, ethnicity or race."

Environmental leadership is actually a savings

As things change, it could cost a company more money not to adopt the greenest possible strategies, says Brian Kelly, director of the Sustainable Enterprises Academy at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Financial Post Business Magazine Oct. 1. Kelly points to skyrocketing energy and waste-disposal costs, stricter regulations and tougher lending and insurance conditions as "very real risks" associated with a less-than-green agenda, wrote the Post. In this context, "environmental leadership isn’t a cost, it’s actually a savings," says Kelly.

York’s Paul Delaney appears in new series about Mars

The new TV series “Mars Rising” – a companion piece to the Galafilm mini-series “Race to Mars” – is chock full of all things Canada, wrote CanWest News Service Oct. 2. For starters, it was produced by Montreal’s Galafilm and is narrated by Canadian actor William Shatner. Numerous Canadian scientists also appear in the series, including Paul Delaney, professor of physics & astronomy in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering. “Mars Rising” premiered Sept. 30 at 8pm on Discovery Channel with two one-hour episodes and the following four instalments of the documentary series air on the same channel on Sunday nights through to Nov. 4.